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WATCH: Jake White feels Bulls attack not below-par, but it ‘would take a bit of time’ for new back-three

Bulls coach Jake White

FILE - Bulls coach Jake White. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Published Apr 30, 2022


Cape Town — Even though the Bulls scored four tries to grab a bonus point in their 29-17 victory over Glasgow, their attack didn’t always function smoothly at Loftus Versfeld.

Of course, they didn’t have star fullback Kurt-Lee Arendse on the pitch after he was ruled out with a broken thumb, which might still keep out of the United Rugby Championship playoffs, depending on his recovery.

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Young wing Canan Moodie had to shift to No 15, with James Verity-Amm at right wing. Moodie has been a revelation at No 14, but the ball didn’t really come his way on Friday night.

Coach Jake White would’ve hoped that bringing in new halfbacks Zak Burger and Morné Steyn would bring a different dimension.

To be fair, they certainly tried, with Steyn executing a couple of pinpoint cross-kicks, while Burger sniped a bit more and scored a well-taken try.

But the Bulls were just not the same free-flowing side that they were in some of the previous matches, and White felt there were particular reasons for that.

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“Sometimes when you are playing a (certain) team, you need to wrestle them, and I think we wrestled them well. Then we moved away from wrestling them to maybe trying to box them… If you look at the scores when Glasgow play, there are not many teams that run them to pieces, keep the ball and beat them by big margins,” the former Springbok coach said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘That was another level of physicality, says Glasgow coach on rampaging Bulls’

“I think it was a great learning experience for us. When we played Scarlets or Dragons or Ulster, it was a different challenge. Today’s challenge was to try to wrestle them, and maybe use what we had as a strength.

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“We had a new back-three as well, so we knew it was always going to be a little bit of a… it would take a bit of time. Canan coming in for Kurt-Lee – it’s quite crazy because those cross-kicks that Morné hit James Verity-Amm, had that been Canan (catching it and) passing inside to Kurt-Lee, maybe the picture’s different.”

White added that the stop-start nature of the game didn’t help either, with Glasgow using delaying tactics after their sprightly opening half-an-hour.

The Scottish side seemed to have someone stay on the ground after almost every passage of play, which led to Georgian referee Nika Amashukeli querying the legitimacy of some of the supposed injuries with their team doctor.

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ALSO READ: WATCH: Bulls didn’t play well, but we wrestled them, says Jake White after bonus-point win over Glasgow

“I thought we wrestled well, and at times when we played that way, it suited us. And when we moved away from that – it’s not that I think our attack was below-par – but I think the space and time that Glasgow give most teams, that kind of (approach) is needed,” White added.


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